Chelsie King Garza

Serving Houston, TX

Member at firm Chelsie King Garza, P.C.

Serving Houston, TX

Awards AV Preeminent

Roughly 4.5 million Americans are attacked every year by dogs. Of those 4.5 million, 850,000 received medical attention and 350,000 required emergency medical care. In 2015, over 28,000 people needed reconstructive surgery due to dog bites. Here’s what you need to know about dog bites.

Although 850,000 people were hurt by dogs, only a fraction of them sought recovery for their harms. Homeowners and renter’s insurance should be paying for those medical bills and losses. That is the purpose of insurance.

Preventing Dog Bites

We may not be able to prevent every dog attack, but we can take measures to avoid them. Dog bites can be serious. Although some may cause cuts and bruises, others can rip off ears and damage eyes. Also, dog bites can become infected. About 1 out of 5 dog bites become infected.

Children and the elderly are at greatest risk of dog bites. Also, anyone who comes into increased contact with dogs has a higher risk of injury. Roughhousing can incite dogs putting boys and men at risk.

Ways to Keep Safe from a Dog Bite

  • Remain still when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • Tell the dog “No” or “Go Away” in a firm voice.
  • Let a dog sniff you before you pet.
  • When you first meet a dog show them the back of your hand with your fingers pointed down. This lets the dog get familiar with your scent. It also makes it more difficult for a dog to get a grip on your hand.
  • If you are knocked over in an attack, curl into a ball tucking your head and covering your ears and neck with your hands.
  • Teach your children to steer clear of strange dogs.
  • Tell your kids to let an adult know if they see an unfamiliar dog or a dog behaving strangely.
  • What NOT to do in the Face of a Dog Attack

  • Approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Panic or scream.
  • Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Pet a dog without allowing it to see and smell you first.
  • Teach your dog to play aggressively.
  • Let small children play with a dog without supervision.
  • Caring for your Wounds After a Dog Bite

    For minor wounds:

  • Wash the wound with soap and warm water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound with a clean bandage.
  • See a doctor if the wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen, or if you develop a fever.
  • Call the doctor right away if the dog that attacked you was acting strangely.
  • As a precaution, any bite that breaks the skin should be looked at by a medical professional.

    For deep wounds:

  • Apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if the bleeding does not stop.
  • See a healthcare provider as soon as possible for more serious wounds.
  • Additionally, see a healthcare provider immediately if the wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen. These can be signs of an infection.

    The worst thing you can after a dog bite is to ignore the risk for infection. A dog’s mouth is not clean. The bacteria enters your skin when you’re bitten. Be sure the clean the wounds and watch for infection.

    Emotional Damage After a Dog Bite

    The victim of a dog bite can suffer emotional trauma. Some may even suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Emotional stress and PTSD are serious issues. If you or a loved one are bitten, keep an eye out for signs of emotional distress, including:

  • Night terrors/nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion or easily distracted
  • Avoidance of other people or activities
  • Paranoia
  • Headaches or insomnia
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Emotional damages are real and must be treated just like a physical injury. These damages can be part of a personal injury recovery.
  • Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer for Help

    Keep in mind that it isn’t just strange dogs that attack. Many attacks occur in the home. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, get the medical care you need. If you need to make a claim against the homeowner’s insurance to cover your losses, contact a personal injury lawyer. Chelsie King Garza can help you get the recovery you need.

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